Church plant trials pop-up service

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Greeters welcome and invite people to check out the pop-up church.

A “pop-up” church service held last Sabbath at a community centre in Adelaide (SA) was well-attended and generated plenty of discussion.

The novel initiative was organised by members of a church plant that grew out of Elizabeth church and is aimed at reaching out to the growing northern suburbs around Munno Para West—the second fastest growing suburb in Adelaide over the past 10 years.

According to Elizabeth church pastor Matthew Hunter, the idea of the pop-up service is to give people a taste of the format, location and meeting time for the new church plant—New Life Adventist Church—which is planned to officially launch mid-next year.

Held at 4pm on November 3 at the John McVeity Centre in Smithfield Plains, the pop-up was attended by about 60 people, including six members of the local community.

Participants joined discussions around tables that gave them a chance to unpack ideas and give feedback.

“The format was intended to be focused and welcoming and to make it easy for new people to church to feel comfortable and be able to get the most out of the service,” said Pastor Hunter.

There was a welcome, prayer, song and a talk by Pastor Hunter, explaining some of the meaning of the church plant’s mission statement that “Life is better with Jesus” and the key Bible text, 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Through Jesus you are made into a new and better person and He takes away our past.” The service lasted 40 minutes.

Pastor Matt Hunter addresses pop-up church attendees.

After this there was a break where people could grab a drink and have a chat, followed by some round table discussions where facilitators took participants through questions relating to Pastor Hunter’s talk. During this time a children’s program was offered in another room. The discussion time lasted 50 minutes and at the conclusion participants were encouraged to fill out surveys to give them an opportunity to provide feedback about the day and how they felt about different elements and what could be improved. Some good and challenging feedback was given, but overall the response was very positive.

Two more pop-up church services are now being planned for February 23 at 3pm and April 6 at 3.30pm at the same location.

“We are trialling different starting times to see which fits people’s schedules best and make it possible for the team to set up and be ready to go on time,” Pastor Hunter said. “Thanks to all the wonderful volunteers on the day who helped the whole day go so well.”

Children aged 0-12 had a special program.

For those interested in finding out more, email Pastor Hunter at MatthewHunter@adventist.org.au or, if you are in the area and would like to attend the second pop-up, it’s being held on February 23 at 3pm at 182 Peachey Rd, Smithfield Plains. There is also an opportunity to follow the new church plant on social media by searching for @newlifechurchmp on Facebook and Instagram.

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